This knowledge path directs readers to a selection of current, high-quality resources
about the prevalence and incidence of perinatal depression; identification
and treatment; impact on the health and well-being of new mothers and
their infants; and implications for service delivery. Health professionals,
program administrators, policymakers, and researchers can use this knowledge
path to learn more about depression during and after pregnancy, to integrate
what they know into their work in new ways to improve care, for program
development, and to locate training resources and information to answer
specific questions. A separate brief presents resources for women experiencing
perinatal depression and their families. This knowledge path has been
developed by the MCH Library at Georgetown University and will be updated periodically.
View Related MCH Library Resources for guides about home visiting, maternal distress in the perinatal period and child outcomes, medications, and preconception and pregnancy.
See Depression Among Women of Reproductive Age and Postpartum Depression (2013) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for information about symptoms, treatments, and a checklist to help women speak with their health professionals about their experiences.
Resources for Professionals
- KEY RESOURCE Postpartum Support International (PSI). Education and training opportunities for health professionals about perinatal
mental health and the assessment, care, and treatment of perinatal mood and
anxiety disorders. Includes patient-education materials, contact information
for state and local support groups, phone forums facilitated by health professionals,
and a help line.
- Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation: Five Action Steps to Address Maternal Depression in Head Start Programs. Strategies and resources for Head Start and other early childhood programs to reduce the impact of depression in the families they serve. Includes validated screening tools, staff training modules and materials, and resources about reflective supervision for staff.
- Health Resources and Services Administration: Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).
Comprehensive Approach for Community-Based Programs to Address Intimate Partner
Violence and Perinatal Depression. (2013). [Toolkit].
Depression During and After Pregnancy: A Resource for Women, Their Families, and Friends (2006). [Booklet]. Available in English and Spanish.
Healthy Start. A program to address factors contributing to infant mortality, low birthweight,
and other adverse perinatal outcomes in high-risk populations. Services include
screening for maternal depression and treatment referral for positively screened
Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. A federal, state, and community collaboration to improve maternal, infant, and early childhood health and development for families who are at risk through evidence-based home-visiting programs.
Taking Care of Mom: Nurturing Self as Well as Baby—Healthcare Providers Guide. (2009). [Pocket card].
Also see the Discretionary Grant Information System (DGIS), the Maternal and Child Health Research Program, and the Prenatal Services Hotline.
- Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women's Mental Health: Reproductive
Psychiatry Resource and Information Center. Research and program information, bibliographies, and a blog about the evaluation and treatment of perinatal psychiatric disorders, including
depression. Topics include medication use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Includes information about the National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics, a repository of information about the safety of atypical antipsychotic medications
that may be taken by women during pregnancy to treat a wide range of mood,
anxiety, or psychiatric disorders.
- Mothers and Babies: Mood and Health Research Program. Interventions aimed at preventing the onset of perinatal depression and improving the mental health of families, with a focus on underserved populations. Presents bibliographies and manuals in English and Spanish for instructors and participants in the cognitive-behavioral intervention, The Mothers and Babies Course.
- Support and Training to Enhance Primary Care for Postpartum Depression (STEP-PPD). Online learning module for primary care health professionals to improve understanding, assessment, and treatment of postpartum depression. Includes screening tools, assessment and treatment algorithms, case studies, and video clips.
Additional Electronic Resources
- Conduct an automated search of the MCH Library's online catalog MCHLine® to find reports, briefs, webinars, and other electronic resources about depression during and after pregnancy.
Use the tools listed below to identify additional data, literature and research, and programs about depression during and after pregnancy.
Literature and Research Databases
- PubMed. Citations and abstracts for biomedical articles from MEDLINE and life science journals indexed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) back to the 1950s, with links to full-text articles when available.
For English-language articles about depression during and after pregnancy published in the last 2 years, use this automated search of PubMed. Use the filters in the left sidebar to narrow
your search by article type, among other limits. Or, use the MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) database to identify additional search terms (e.g., (depression, postpartum OR (depression AND pregnancy)) AND socioeconomic factors).
- See the MCH Library resource brief, Maternal and Child Health Literature and Research Databases, and, in particular, ClinicalTrials.gov, the Healthy Start Toolkit, the Maternal and Child Health Research Program: Funded Projects Search, the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT), POPLINE® (POPulation information onLINE), and PubMed Health.
News and Commentary
Resources for Women and Families
Related MCH Library Resources
Depression During and After Pregnancy: Knowledge Path, 4th ed.
Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., MCH Library.
Contributors: Beth DeFrancis, M.L.S., MCH Library; Tracy Lopez, M.S.L.S., MCH Library.
Reviewers: Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., MCH Library [ADD REVIEWERS' NAMES].
Editor: Ruth Barzel, M.A., MCH Library.